Pet correctness in Switzerland
It is a world in which the goldfish are never lonely, the dogs are always obedient and the guinea-pigs are never tormented by children. Under a new Swiss law enshrining rights for animals, dog owners will require a qualification, anglers will take lessons in compassion and horses will go only in twos. From guinea-pigs to budgerigars, any animal classified as a "social species" will be a victim of abuse if it does not cohabit, or at least have contact, with others of its own kind. The new regulation stipulates that aquariums for pet fish should not be transparent on all sides and that owners must make sure that the natural cycle of day and night is maintained in terms of light. Goldfish are considered social animals, or Gruppentiere in German.
The creator of this animal Utopia is the Swiss federal parliament, the Bundesrat, which adopted a law this week extending to four legs the kind of rights usually reserved for two. The law, which comes into force from September 1, is particularly strict over dogs: prospective owners will have to pay for and complete a two-part course - a theory section on the needs and wishes of the animal, and a practice section, where students will be instructed in how to walk their dog and react to various situations that might arise during the process. The details of the courses are yet to be fixed, but they are likely to comprise about five theory lessons and at least five sessions "in the field".
The law extends to unlikely regions of the animal kingdom. Anglers will also be required to complete a course on catching fish humanely, with the Government citing studies indicating that fish can suffer too. The regulations will affect farmers, who will no longer be allowed to tether horses, sheep and goats, nor keep pigs and cows in areas with hard floors. The legislation even mentions the appropriate keeping of rhinoceroses, although it was not clear immediately how many, if any, were being kept as pets in Switzerland.
Animal protection groups have greeted the news enthusiastically, but critics say that it means an extra financial burden on taxpayers and animal owners, and that it will be impossible to monitor the implementation of the rules. Farmers' associations have protested, arguing that the law will have a negative effect on the economy and decrease their competitiveness on the international market.
One tabloid newspaper has accused the Government of pandering to the needs of guinea-pigs while ignoring more important animal issues, such as its failure to enforce a ban on dangerous dogs. But Hans Wyss, head of the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office, said: "The aim is not only to ensure treatment of animals appropriate to each species, but also to decrease the risk of attacks by dangerous dogs. Inappropriate treatment could lead to behavioural disorders."
Doris Leuthard, the Economics Minister, assured pet owners that the authorities would not be visiting people's homes to enforce the law - although in extreme cases officials would have the power to intervene - but would count on the results of the training and a positive response from an "informed population". "We do not want to create a surveillance state," Mrs Leuthard said. She added that, in an age of consumer concern for animal welfare, farmers would benefit from the new law.
The attitude of the Government is in sharp contrast to some alleged practices in Switzerland: activists campaigning for a ban of the production and trade in cat fur products claim that tens of thousands of cats are killed each year to satisfy a growing domestic and foreign market fuelled by the belief that cat fur can alleviate the pain of rheumatism. The cats are skinned by specialised tanneries for various products, ranging from 30 pounds for a single fur to 200 for a cardigan and more than 800 for a large blanket - which might explain the total absence of stray cats in the country. There have also been reports coming from France about cats disappearing from areas along the Swiss border.
Should pet owners require advance guidance as to what will be expected of them, a goverment website provides it. One entry reads: "Guinea-pigs are very sensitive social animals. They are interesting to look at, but not at all appropriate to be cuddled or carried around by children." And a word of warning for those planning a mercy killing for their goldfish: special chemicals will be required "to put them to death". Flushing them down the loo is no longer an option.
Homosexual Sex Kills
Can you imagine officials at a middle school, junior high or high school setting aside a day to promote "tolerance" for heavy smoking and drinking among children? How about a day where teachers encourage kids to "embrace who they are," pick up that crack pipe and give it a stiff toke? Neither can I. The public would go ballistic, and for good reason.
But that hasn't stopped officials in thousands of schools across the country from promoting other politically correct and socially "in-vogue" behaviors that - both statistically and manifestly - are every bit as dangerous as the aforementioned frowned-upon behaviors. That's exactly what the homosexual activist "Day of Silence" is all about - advancing, through clever, feel-good propaganda, full acceptance among children of the homosexual lifestyle.
By recently admitting that "HIV is a gay disease," Matt Foreman, outgoing Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, acknowledged what the medical community has known for decades: the homosexual lifestyle is extremely high-risk and often leads to disease and even death. In fact, multiple studies have established that homosexual conduct, especially among males, is considerably more hazardous to one's health than a lifetime of chain smoking.
To the consternation of "gay" activist flat-earthers and homosexual AIDS holocaust deniers everywhere, one such study - conducted by pro-"gay" researchers in Canada - was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE) in 1997. (see the study here: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/26/3/657.pdf )
While the medical consensus is that smoking knocks from two to 10 years off an individual's life expectancy, the IJE study found that homosexual conduct shortens the lifespan of "gays" by an astounding "8 to 20 years" - more than twice that of smoking. "[U]nder even the most liberal assumptions," concluded the study, "gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871. . [L]ife expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men." This morose reality makes a strong case for a fitting redefinition of so-called "homophobia," that being "Homophobia: The rational fear that 'gay sex' will kill you!"
The fact that we don't have mandatory surgeon general warnings on the side of condom wrappers is a testament to the power and influence wielded by the radical homosexual lobby. (Warning: Male-male anal sodomy has been proven to shorten your lifespan by up to 20 years.)
Not surprisingly, that same homosexual lobby and its codependent enablers in the mainstream media moved quickly to sweep the IJE study under the rug. Under tremendous pressure, the researchers who conducted the study even jumped into the political damage control fray issuing a statement which read, "[W]e do not condone the use of our research in a manner that restricts the political or human rights of gay and bisexual men or any other group."
Of course, that's all just worthless fluff. All the political spin in the world doesn't change reality, nor does it eliminate the study's disturbing conclusions or practical implications. The research left ZERO wiggle room for anyone who would argue that homosexuality is a "perfectly normal and healthy alternative sexual orientation."
The risks associated with homosexual conduct are so drastic, in fact, that U.S. health regulations prohibit men who have sex with men (MSM) and women who have had sex with MSM, from even donating blood. Consider that, according to the Food and Drug Administration, MSM, "have an HIV prevalence 60 times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than first time blood donors and 8,000 times higher than repeat blood donors."
Adults and children who engage in homosexual conduct, especially males, are also susceptible, at an astronomical rate, to nearly all other forms of sexually transmitted disease (STD). For example, the Hepatitis B virus is about five to six times more prevalent among "gays," and Hepatitis C is twice as common.
But perhaps most shocking are today's syphilis rates among homosexual men and adolescents. A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that although homosexuals comprise only a fraction of the population (one to two percent), they account for an epidemic 64 percent of all syphilis cases.
In light of the irrefutable medical facts, it should be considered criminally reckless for educators to teach children that homosexual conduct is a normal, safe and perfectly acceptable alternative form of sexual expression (or "sexual orientation").
But instead, the "gay" lifestyle is vigorously promoted in our public schools. Sexually confused children who suffer from gender identity disorder and same-sex attractions are told to "embrace who they are," and are encouraged to entertain deviant and dangerous sexual temptations. "But always use a condom!" liberal educators bellow. (Forget that condoms have a perilously high failure rate and are incapable of preventing numerous STDs such as the HPV virus.)
On April 25, 2008, the pro-homosexual indoctrination of your children comes to a boil. Homosexual activists and like-minded liberal educators will be pushing the so-called "Day of Silence" on kids in thousands of schools across the country. The "Day of Silence" (DOS) is organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), one of the most militant and well-funded of the powerful homosexual pressure groups. DOS purports to confront the alleged systematic harassment and bullying of children who self-identify as homosexual, bisexual or "transgender."
To be sure, bullying and harassment should not be tolerated against anyone, anywhere for any reason, and those who engage in such activities should be firmly disciplined. However, DOS has very little to do with "bullying" and has everything to do with propaganda....
Children are impressionable. Their young minds are fresh clay ready for molding, and these adult homosexual activists know it. Your child's spiritual, emotional and physical well-being belongs in your hands, not in the hands of liberal activists and elitist educators with a deceptive and destructive political agenda. It's time to shatter the silence with truth.
Anti-human Overpopulation Hysteria
In a recent column Albert Mohler, the current president of the prestigious Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, comes out swinging against what he calls (echoing the words of Malcolm Muggeridge), "The Great Liberal Death Wish.". Mohler's column was prompted by an apocalyptic piece that appeared in USA Today, entitled "Might our religion be killing us?". In the article Oliver "Buzz" Thomas argues that the commandment, given to Adam in the Garden of Eden, to "be fruitful and multiply" is leading to the destruction of the planet, and suggests that instead of encouraging procreation religions ought instead to be promoting smaller families, at a limit of two children. He also suggests that governments ought to introduce tax incentives for those who limit their families, instead of for those who have children.
Thomas draws a parallel between Christianity and the religion of the Aztecs, the latter of which demanded mass human sacrifice and encouraged widespread violence, and which ultimately contributed to the demise of the Aztec civilization. "We moderns are far more sophisticated, of course," says Thomas, "but if we persist with some of our religious practices, we could be heading down the same disastrous dog trot."
"Consider the Roman Catholic Church's continued opposition to modern birth control or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (i.e. Mormons) encouragement of large families," he says. "This might not alarm you unless you realize that nearly one in every five humans on the planet is Roman Catholic and that the Latter-day Saints belong to one of the fastest-growing religions in the Western Hemisphere. Many Orthodox Jews and some Muslims also eschew birth control.
"Population growth hits hardest in the poorest nations, and as poverty increases, public health declines. I am quite certain that God is not the author of human misery, but by preaching against birth control at the same time we are preaching against abortion, it seems that we're making God out as cruel, a buffoon, or both." "We must stop having so many children," he concludes. "Clergy should consider voicing the difficult truth that having more than two children during such a time is selfish. Dare we say sinful?"
Mohler, however, retorts that Thomas's article "fails on multiple grounds," and instead points out, "The real population problem the world is almost certain to face in the future is too few babies being born - not too many." "Russia," observes Mohler, "is experiencing a net decrease in population, a situation that could threaten social stability. In China, the nation's disastrous 'one child only policy has led to a dramatic gender imbalance.and the rapid aging of the population means that basic social needs will present a crisis." "In reality, population growth is already subsiding on a global basis." This decrease in population will have particularly disastrous consequences for the developed world, says Mohler, asking, "What happens when the number of retirees approaches the number of workers? That economic experiment cannot work."
Mohler accuses the ilk of Thomas as promoting an approach to population control that "is rooted in an elitist distaste for larger families and an ambition of some to control the reproductive destiny of others." "In any event, a couple deciding to have additional children will often reflect a rational approach to getting out of poverty - not the cause of poverty in itself. Put bluntly, even in economic terms children usually bring greater economic benefits than costs over the long term."
He concludes, "For Christians, far more than economics is at stake. The far larger issue is the glory of God in the birth and maturation of godly progeny. Children are to be received - and conceived - as gifts, not as threats of environmental disaster."
More British Catholic Adoption Agencies to Close Doors instead of Bowing to Sexual Orientation Regulations
When the Labour government's Sexual Orientation Regulations were passed last year, the leadership of the Catholic Church in England and Wales warned that the new law would spell the end of Catholic involvement in social service, particularly adoption. Now the first of the UK's Catholic adoption agencies affected are announcing they will close their doors for good rather than betray religious principles and their guiding principle of the good of the child.
Bishop Malcolm McMahon said his diocese of Nottingham would be cutting ties with the their adoption agency, the Catholic Children's Society, because of the law that forces them to consider homosexual partners as equally qualified to adopt as people in natural heterosexual relationships. "We have been coerced into this, I am not happy about it at all," the bishop told Catholic News Service April 18. "The regulations have coerced the children's society into going against the church's teaching, and we don't wish to do that."
The Nottingham agency, together with that of the Northampton Catholic diocese, will become a secular institution "with a Christian character" by merging with the adoption agency of the Anglican Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham in October. The parish churches of the diocese will no longer solicit funds to support the agency. The Nottingham agency was founded in 1948 by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and placed 25 children a year with adoptive families.
Contrary to common accusations that Catholics are trying to unjustly discriminate against homosexuals, the Catholic Church holds that its motivation is rather the desire to protect the best interests of children. The Church teaches, according to recent documents from the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, that allowing a child to be adopted by homosexual partners "would actually mean doing violence to these children" by placing them into a situation where their full social and spiritual development would be threatened.
Homosexual partners have had the legal right to adopt children in Britain since 2002. The new law, however, removes the right of Catholic and other Christian agencies to decline to consider homosexuals for adoption.
The move by the Nottingham diocese follows similar decisions made elsewhere in Britain. In the summer of 2007, shortly after the legislation was passed, the Leeds-based Catholic Care, which placed 20 children a year with adoptive families, voted to pull out of adoption services. Bishop Patrick O'Donohue of Lancaster announced at the same time that the Catholic Caring Services, an adoption agency working in Lancashire and Cumbria, will likely close rather than bow to the regulations.
When the legislation passed in 2007, Cormac Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, attempted to find a compromise in which Catholic adoption agencies would be exempt. Tony Blair, later to be received into the Catholic Church by the same Cardinal, refused to consider an exemption. Instead Blair offered his own version of a compromise: Catholic agencies had a year to adjust to adopting children to gay partners or close. That deadline comes at the end of this month.
The conflict comes at the same time that local branches of government continue to discriminate against Christians who volunteer to take in foster children. In November 2007, Vincent and Pauline Matherick, a Christian couple who had fostered children for years, were told by their Somerset council that they would no longer be allowed to continue because of their religious objections to homosexuality. They were later reinstated but only after a media furor and notices to the council by a Christian lawyers' group.
In February this year, it was reported that a Christian couple in Derby, Eunice and Owen Johns, is suing the local council after their application to foster children was refused because of their religious objections to homosexuality. In addition, the Labour-controlled council adoption panel was said to be "upset" that the couple insisted that children in their care would be required to accompany the family to church on Sundays.
In September 2007, an independent investigation revealed that a local council's fear of being labelled homophobic had allowed a total of 19 boys to be placed with a pair of homosexual child molesters. Despite growing reservations by staff and complaints from the mother of two of the boys, the Wakefield council placed the children into the care of Ian Wathey and Craig Faunch who were convicted in May 2006 of molesting and filming eight-year-old twins and two 14 year-old boys.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.